joint staff

ew.com
Chris Evans to narrate 8-part Nat Geo documentary series
Chain of Command, the forthcoming 8-part documentary series on National Geographic, isn't slated to premiere until January.

EW can exclusively reveal some news that will keep fans excited until then: Captain America himself, Chris Evans, will narrate the entire series.

Chain of Command plans to offer an intimate look at the war against violent extremism and the men and women devoting their lives to it.

Above, check out an exclusive clip from the series that not only previews the intensity that will radiate throughout all eight episodes, but showcases Evans in the narrator role as well. The two-and-a-half minute clip also depicts some of the roles of the different ranking officers in the chain of command.

Besides the sheer wow factor of landing a superhero like Evans as the narrator, he seems like a great fit for the gig. In addition to his recurring appearances as Captain America, he has also been a strong advocate for servicemen and servicewomen, serving as a spokesperson for Got Your Six — a nonprofit that works to empower veterans and their families — and participating in a United Service Organizations tour last year.

During the making of Chain of Command, the Pentagon gave National Geographic unprecedented access to people holding a wide range of duties. The documentary features a very rare sitdown with the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Joseph F. Dunford, but also focuses on the ground fight around the world against extremists (including being inside the room during drone strikes).

Chain of Command is set to premiere exclusively on Nat Geo in January 2018.

please reblog: steve bannon

Yesterday, Trump removed the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Director of National Intelligence from the National Security Council. He replaced them with Steve Bannon. Bannon has no government, intelligence, or high-level military experience; his experience is leading a propaganda outlet (Breitbart News) that peddles nationalist and white nationalist viewpoints.

This would be deeply concerning in and of itself. But one of the jobs of the NSC is to oversee a secret panel that authorizes the assassination of “enemies of the United States Government” – including American citizens. These targeted killings are fully authorized by law under the Congressional military authorization act following 9/11. There is no trial, no due process, and no public record of the decision or the assassination itself.

Just to recap the absurdity: the President of the United States has appointed a known propagandist, nationalist, and white supremacist to replace the highest military advisor in the country on a council that authorizes secret, legal, targeted killings of American citizens (and others) without due process.

What You Can Do:
- Call your Senators and Congressperson this week and demand that they publicly and legislatively oppose Trump’s appointment of Steven Bannon to the NSC.
- Spread the word about this news to your networks, since this is not getting a lot of coverage right now.

Please COPY AND PASTE this update as opposed to sharing the post.

cnn.com
BREAKING: Trump signs directive banning transgender military recruits, limiting health care access for existing members
President Donald Trump on Friday directed the military not to move forward with an Obama-era plan that would have allowed transgender individuals to be recruited into the armed forces, following through on his intentions announced a month earlier to ban transgender people from serving.
By Jeremy Diamond, CNN

Donald Trump has ordered the military not to follow through with President Obama’s initiative allowing transgender people to join the military. He has also banned the Department of Defense from using its funds to provide transition-related health care for trans people currently in the armed forces. 

He also gave officials the option to consider booting trans people currently in the military based on “military effectiveness and lethality, unitary cohesion, budgetary constraints, applicable law, and all factors that may be relevant.”

The White House official who briefed reporters on the memo on Friday evening declined to say whether transgender troops would be allowed to remain in the military under those policy guidelines.

But the official signaled that the administration was returning to the military’s pre-2016 policy under which no transgender individuals were allowed to serve openly in the armed forces.The guidance comes a month after Trump said on Twitter that he would reinstate a ban on transgender troops, an announcement that took many in the military’s leadership – including the joint chiefs of staff – by surprise. […]

A 2016 Rand Corp. study commissioned by the Defense Department concluded that letting transgender people serve openly would have a “minimal impact” on readiness and health care costs, largely because there are so few in the military’s 1.3 million-member force.

The study put the number of transgender people in the military at between 1,320 and 6,630. Gender-change surgery is rare in the general population, and the Rand study estimated the possibility of 30 to 140 new hormone treatments a year in the military, with 25 to 130 gender transition-related surgeries among active service members annually. The cost could range from $2.4 million and $8.4 million a year, an amount that would represent an “exceedingly small proportion” of total health care expenditures, the study found.

I’m speechless. He’s set on ruining as many lives as he possibly can. 

Haunted By War: Jared Kushner Just Woke Up In A Cold Sweat After Having A Flashback About Getting A Blister During His 2-Day Trip To Iraq

The horrors of war can have significant impacts on those who experience them, and it seems like the president’s son-in-law is no exception: Jared Kushner just woke up seized with terror after experiencing a flashback to a blister he got on his foot during his two-day trip to Iraq.

What an incredibly harrowing experience.

Dreaming he was back in the war-torn country he visited last week, sitting with military generals in a climate-controlled room, Kushner broke out in a cold sweat as he was forced to relive the trauma of having his big toe rubbed raw by a pair of shoes he had not yet had the chance to break in. His mind replayed scene after scene in which he had to excuse himself from conversation with the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff in order to limp to the bathroom and shake any grains of chafing sand from his new loafers. A phantom pain in his heel throbbed as he repeatedly clapped his shoes together in his dream, only to find the Italian leather insoles covered in a fresh layer of sand every time he slipped them on his aching feet. The terror of the nightmare proving to be too much to handle, Kushner gasped audibly as he bolted upright in bed, eyes bloodshot with the horror of the injury he had sustained in Iraq.

Trauma can be difficult for anyone to overcome, and these flashbacks to his 48 hours in Iraq spent 10 miles away from any fighting show that Jared Kushner is having a tough time adjusting back to civilian life.

As he kicked off his covers and tried to catch his breath, Kushner was plagued by visions of the long hallways he had been forced to painfully traverse with the soldiers who’d put their lives on the line every day, his blister growing redder with each passing step as they told him about their fellow service members who had not made it home alive. He was haunted by memories of meetings with military strategists, in which he had stoically endured hours of discussions about the future of the United States’ involvement in Iraq without a single opportunity to apply an ointment or soothing balm to his foot.

Kushner attempted to clear these thoughts from his mind as he tried to fall back asleep, but they kept him awake for hours more. The sunburn he’d gotten on his nose still felt as fresh as ever, even though by now it had faded into a tan, and he could swear his shoulder still felt the slice of the uncomfortable seatbelt in the Humvee in which he’d had to ride on the second day.

This just goes to show the serious horrors Jared Kushner faced for our country. We hope he has a strong support network to help him get through this grim chapter of his life and work past the traumatic blister flashbacks that haunt him and disturb his rest. No one should have to live like this.

For @aveanexalea , since he requested it and it was on my vote list.

Back in the early portion of the cold war, US air planners and air defence controllers had a major problem. In the day and age of a single modern bomber being able to take out an entire city, or multiple in a single mission, the US had to guarantee that to the best of their ability to be able to take down as many soviet bombers as possible, preferably all of them, in the event of an atomic conflict.

From past experience, they knew that the “bomber would always get through”, especially when used in mass bomber swarms, or combat boxes, as was the US term. (More of a specific bomber formation doctrine, but eh). Conventional Anti-aircraft measures could and would down some of the bombers, but a large volume would get through. Any Soviet bombers escaping air defences would more than likely result in destroyed US cities and the millions of preventable casualties that would follow.

This was unacceptable. The USAF, taking a page from their Army comrades, decided to go nuclear. The US army’s doctrine was to use atomic munitions to vaporize soviet armoured divisions if they were able to roll through any conventional weapons, for the defence of Western Europe. The USAF decided that an atomic device air-burst in the middle of a soviet bomber formation would do just the trick.

New developments in US Atomics research had allowed for the development of sealed pit devices.

“A weapon “boosted” by tritium and deuterium gas would use much less fissile material to produce a large explosion. Right before the moment of detonation, these hydrogen gases would be released into the weapon’s core. When the core imploded, the gases would fuse, release neutrons, multiply the number of fissions, and greatly increase the yield. And because the fissile core would be hollow and thin, a lesser amount of explosives would be needed to implode it. As a result, boosted weapons could be light and small.“

Eric Schlosser,  Command and Control: Nuclear Weapons, the Damascus Accident, and the Illusion of Safety.  (New York: The Penguin Press, 2013), Pg. 103.

This new development allowed for more powerful weapons in smaller packages.

This allowed the Air-2 Genie to pack the punch it required.

The Air-2 Genie represented the first sealed-pit weapon to enter US stockpile. With conventional air-to air weapons proving inadequate, and the threat of a single Soviet aircraft wreaking havoc on the mainland US, the USAF deemed the safest option for the downing of US bombers was the detonation of small atomic devices over the skies of the mainland United States, Alaska, and Canada. 

This “view was endorsed in March 1955 by James R. Killian, the president of MIT, who headed a top secret panel on the threat of surprise attack”. - “The Genie would be carried by Air Force fighter-interceptors. It had a small, 1.5-kiloton warhead and a solid-fueled rocket engine. Unlike conventional air defense weapons, it didn’t need a direct hit to eliminate a target. And it could prove equally useful against a single Soviet bomber or a large formation of them”.

-Ibid.

The Genie was to be fired upon contact with a Soviet bomber. The sooner the better for the sake of the US, as will be explained in detail below. 

The on board fire computer would calculate the distance to the bomber, or bombers, and set the on board timer for the Air-2 Genie. After launch, the US fighter would bank hard and roll out and away from the projected device initiation point. Initiation of the device would occur once the timer ran out. The rocket would speed towards the hostile aircraft at Mach 3.3 powered by a solid fueled Thiokol SR49 rocket motor. Primary kill effects were caused surprisingly enough not by blast or heat, which, despite the low yield of 1.5 kilotons, were still effective out to a great distance. The Fireball would consume any aircraft within a hundred yards, yet the most effective killing agent of this device was the prompt radiation released. Even a bad miss could still kill, given that the lethal envelope of the prompt radiation had a radius of about a mile with “the “probability of kill” (PK) within that envelope [found] to be 92 percent”.

“The Soviet aircrew’s death from radiation might take as long as five minutes—a delay that made it even more important to fire the Genie as far as possible from urban areas. Detonated at a high altitude, the weapon produced little fallout and didn’t lift any debris from the ground to form a mushroom cloud. After the bright white flash, a circular cloud drifted from the point of detonation, forming an immense smoke ring in the sky”.

-Ibid.

The discussion of permission to fire these devices was brought up, and how a request to fire the devices may be delayed to the point where several US cities may well have gone up in smoke. In response to these concerns, the use of these devices were pre-delegated to the USAF, by Eisenhower in April 1956, with the actual order coming into effect in December.

In effect, the USAF was able to fire atomic air-to-air rockets at any target that was deemed ‘hostile’. While the joint chief’s of staff demanded that these devices were to be locked up in storage igloos, and never to be flown over the United States except in war time. Presumably, the reality of this was that a large volume of air interceptors were on the deck ready to jet in the event of a conflict. At first warning of the DEW line, Mid-Canada line or the Pine-tree Line, the aircraft would be armed, with Genies extracted from their storage sheds, with the air interceptors, now armed with atomic rockets, sent to intercept the soviet waves of bombers.


To prove the device safe in use, the USAF conducted  Operation Plumbbob on 19 July 1957. This proved to be the only live firing of a Air-2 Genie missile, which initiated somewhere  between 18,500 and 20,000 ft (5,600 and 6,100 m) above mean sea level. (Sources vary). A group of five USAF officers volunteered to stand hatless in their light summer uniforms underneath the blast to prove that the weapon was safe for use over populated areas. They were photographed by Department of Defense photographer George Yoshitake who stood there with them. Gamma and neutron doses received by observers on the ground were negligible. Doses received by aircrew were highest for the fliers assigned to penetrate the airburst cloud ten minutes after explosion.

Source

As shown in the video above, with the description just above, “The
officers wore summer uniforms and no protective gear. A photograph, taken at the moment of detonation, shows that two of the men instinctively ducked, two shielded their eyes, and one stared upward, looking straight at the blast. “It glowed for an instant like a newborn sun,” Time magazine reported, “then faded
into a rosy, doughnut-shaped cloud.”


Eric Schlosser,  Command and Control: Nuclear Weapons, the Damascus Accident, and the Illusion of Safety.  (New York: The Penguin Press, 2013), Pg. 105. 

Problems arise.  

Inevitably , problems began to arise. Given that sealed-pit weapons were quite new, with this model of weapon being the first in stockpiles, how safe were they? This was a bit of an unknown, one that needed to be found out when thousands of these devices would be put on airfields and storage facility’s across the country, many within city limits.

The U.S. government was quite public about the Genie missile. 

“When atomic bombs were first transferred to SAC bases in French Morocco, the French government wasn’t told about the weapons. But the deployment of Genies at air bases throughout the United States was announced in an Air Force press release.”

“The possibility of any nuclear explosion occurring as a result of an accident involving either impact or fire is virtually nonexistent,” Secretary of Defense Wilson assured the public”. 
His press release reported “that someone standing on
the ground directly beneath the high-altitude detonation of a Genie would be exposed to less radiation than “a hundredth of a dose received in a standard (medical) X-ray.”

-Ibid

However, it should be noted that “His press release about the
Genie didn’t mention the risk of plutonium contamination”,
not from an airburst anti-bomber detonation, but from an accidental surface burst.

The risks of plutonium exposure were becoming more apparent in the mid-1950s. Although the alpha particles emitted by plutonium are too weak to penetrate human skin, they can destroy lung tissue when plutonium dust is inhaled. Anyone within a few hundred feet of a weapon accident spreading plutonium can inhale a swiftly lethal dose. Cancers of the lung, liver, lymph nodes, and bone can be caused by the inhalation of minute amounts. And the fallout from such an accident may contaminate a large area for a long time. Plutonium has a half-life of about twenty-four thousand years. It remains hazardous throughout that period, and plutonium dust is hard to clean up. “The problem of decontaminating the site of [an] accident may be insurmountable,” a classified Los Alamos report noted a month after the Genie’s onepoint
safety test, “and it may have to be ‘written off’ permanently.” “.

Understandably, this would drive the civilian members in charge of safety quite quickly to protest, with the very thought of having to inform the public that a section, or perhaps all of a major US city would be uninhabitable for an extremely extended period being almost unthinkable.

There was heavy debate actually among those in the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC), as to whether use a plutonium, or uranium-235 base for the fission products in the genie devices. 

“In one respect, uranium-235 seemed to be safer. It has a half-life of about seven hundred million years—but emits radiation at a much lower rate than plutonium, greatly reducing the inhalation hazard. And yet a Genie with a uranium core had its own risks. Norris Bradbury, the director of Los Alamos, warned the AEC that such a core was “probably not safe against one-point detonation.” In effect, shrapnel, or a stray bullet, or what have you from an aircraft crash, or sabotage, or whatever incident may well cause the device to, quite frankly, initiate. Heck, even a fire could cause it. 





In short, using uranium as the base fission product, the Genies would fail the one-point safety test, and could be set off very easily. Using Uranium as the base fission product, “Impact tests revealed that when the Genie was armed, it didn’t need a firing signal to detonate. The Genie could produce a nuclear explosion just by hitting the ground”.

Ibid-Pg 107

Understandably, “given the choice between an accident that might cause a nuclear explosion and one that might send a cloud of plutonium over an American city, the Air Force preferred the latter. Handmade, emergency capability Genies were rushed into production, with cores that contained plutonium”.

Ibid.-Pg 105

Even with the one-point safety test proven, there was still the potential for complications.
“The one-point safety tests at Nevada Test Site had provided encouraging results, and yet the behavior of a nuclear weapon in an “abnormal environment”—like that of a fuel fire ignited by a plane crash—was still poorly understood. During a fire, the high explosives of a weapon might burn; they might detonate; or they might burn and then detonate. And different weapons might respond differently to the same fire, based on the type, weight, and configuration of their high explosives. For firefighting purposes, each weapon was assigned a “time factor”—the amount of time you had, once a weapon was engulfed in flames, either to put out the fire or to get at least a thousand feet away from it. The time factor for the Genie was three minutes”.

Ibid.- Pg 109

Heck, there was concern that the fire may even start the standard detonation process.

“The heat of a fire might start the thermal batteries, release high-voltage
electricity into the X-unit, and then set off the bomb. To eliminate that risk, heat-sensitive fuses were added to every sealed-pit weapon. At a temperature of 300 degrees Fahrenheit, the fuses would blow, melting the connections between the batteries and the arming system. It was a straightforward, time-honored way to interrupt an electrical circuit, and it promised to ensure that a high temperature wouldn’t trigger the detonators”.

Ibid.

In 1977, a study was completed that reported that “despite being the oldest sealed-pit weapon in the stockpile, vulnerable to lightning, and fitted
with an outdated accelerometer, the Genie was still being loaded onto fighter planes”.

Ibid. Pg. 223



In the end, over 3000 Genie’s were produced, being used by both the USAF from 1957 to 1985, and the R.C.A.F. from 1965 to 1984.

Here, have this for your troubles.

Sources-

Wiki, for basic info-

Schlosser, Eric.  Command and Control: Nuclear Weapons, the Damascus Accident, and the Illusion of Safety.  New York: The Penguin Press, 2013.

With each day, President Trump offers fresh proof that he is failing the office that Americans entrusted to him. The rolling disaster of his presidency accelerated downhill last week with a news conference on Tuesday at which he seemed determined to sow racial strife in a nation desperate for a unifying vision.

Since the 1930s it has not typically been a challenge for an American leader to denounce Nazism. But there is nothing typical about this president; urged by some of his advisers and family members to summon the majesty and moral authority of the presidency to heal the wounds of last weekend’s neo-Nazi violence in Charlottesville, to put the good of the country before personal pique, he chose instead to deliver a defense of white supremacists that raised as never before profound doubts about his moral compass, his grasp of the obligations of his office and his fitness to occupy it.

This, in essence, is where we are now: a nation led by a prince of discord who seems divorced from decency and common sense. The alarm bells were loud and swift. Five members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff delivered a rare rebuke, condemning race-based extremism in the military and the nation. Foreign leaders, from Secretary General António Guterres of the United Nations to Prime Minister Theresa May of Britain, condemned intolerance and a failure of leadership in the White House.

[…]

Mr. Trump was reportedly energized by his Tuesday performance, which he saw as a rebuke to politically correct forces that he thinks are determined to topple him. He crashed ahead, attacking critics on all sides and delivering Twitter bursts of anti-historical nonsense. Not the least of these was his repetition, shortly after the terrorist attack in Barcelona on Thursday, of the canard that Gen. John Pershing, known as “Black Jack,” had stopped Islamic terrorists in the Philippines by killing dozens of them with bullets dipped in pigs’ blood, a strategy Mr. Trump thinks worthy of emulation.

[…]

Yes, other Republican leaders, while claiming the mantle of Abraham Lincoln, have subtly and not so subtly courted bigots since the days of Richard Nixon’s “Southern strategy.” But Mr. Trump has now made that subtext his text. Last week, he stripped away the pretense and the camouflage. In deciding to split Americans apart rather than draw them together, he abandoned the legacy of Lincoln for the legacy of Robert E. Lee and Jefferson Davis. He chose to summon not America’s better angels, but its demons.

— 

The New York Times Editorial Board on Trump’s “Presidency” being a massive failure (08.20.2017). 

The New York Times​ Editorial Board is 100% right that the Trump “Presidency” is a failing one.

cnn.com
North Korea launches missile over Japan
North Korea has fired a ballistic missile over northern Japan for the second time in less than a month, South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff said Friday.
By Zachary Cohen and Joshua Berlinger, CNN

North Korea has fired a ballistic missile over northern Japan for the second time in less than a month, South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said Friday.

The unidentified ballistic missile was launched from the district of Sunan in the North Korean capital of Pyongyang, home to the country’s main airport, the South Korean military said.

8

…And so we argued and so we disagreed – all dedicated, intelligent men, disagreeing and fighting about the future of their country, and of mankind. Meanwhile, time was slowly running out.

The members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff were unanimous in calling for immediate military action. They forcefully presented their view that the blockade would not be effective. General Curtis LeMay, Air Force Chief of Staff, argued strongly with the President that a military attack was essential. When the President questioned what the response of the Russians might be, General LeMay assured him there would be no reaction. President Kennedy was skeptical. “They, no more than we, can let these things go by without doing something. They can’t, after all their statements, permit us to take out their missiles, kill a lot of Russians, and then do nothing. If they don’t take action in Cuba, they certainly will in Berlin.”

General David M. Shoup, Commandant of the Marine Corps, summed up everyone’s feelings: “You are in a pretty bad fix, Mr. President.” The President answered quickly, “You are in it with me.” Everyone laughed, and, with no final decision, the meeting adjourned
.
Robert F. Kennedy, Thirteen Days, pg. 29 ||| Thirteen Days (2000)

The Powell Doctrine and North Korea

So most of you may not remember Colin Powell, the first African American Chief of the Joint Chiefs of Staff who later, as W Bush’s Secretary of State, burned through a lot of credibility (all of it, in my opinion) when he supported the ridiculous and unnecessary invasion of Iraq.

As Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, however, Powell was much more successful, and employed what journalists and analysts came to call the “Powell Doctrine” to US military actions. It is a useful list to consider as Trump saber rattles with North Korea. 

The Powell Doctrine states that a list of questions all have to be answered affirmatively before military action is taken by the United States:

  • Is a vital national security interest threatened?
  • Do we have a clear attainable objective?
  • Have the risks and costs been fully and frankly analyzed?
  • Have all other non-violent policy means been fully exhausted?
  • Is there a plausible exit strategy to avoid endless entanglement?
  • Have the consequences of our action been fully considered?
  • Is the action supported by the American people?
  • Do we have genuine broad international support?

(Copied from Wikipedia.)

Seems hard to imagine all this in context of war with North Korea, huh? “Because the president is a petulant 12 year old” is not an appropriate reason to kill millions … nor is it likely to lead to a successful conclusion to the conflict underway.

May there be adults in the room where it happens, and may they win.

Donald Trump's Transgender Ban was Driven by His Personal Views, Not Military Expert Advice

So word just broke that Donald Trump never consulted with any generals or joint chiefs of staff in the Pentagon. This was, by and large, a random decision he made simply because he doesn’t like transgender people. The Pentagon even confirmed that there are no ongoing investigations against the effectiveness of transgender service men and women.

Trump’s tweets were deliberate and calculated, riddled with buzz words that reaffirm the views of his voter base:

“Consultation” - formal language that is very uncharacteristic of Trump. Also, he has openly criticized and rejected advice and consultation from his generals and military experts in the past. Why suddenly bring them up now?

“Please be advised” - again, uncharacteristic. Trump doesn’t ever use formal language. Here, he uses it to set up an announcement that, for nine minutes, sent the Pentagon itself into chaos. This language coming from the president sounds like he is about to make a declaration of war, and that’s exactly what the Pentagon thought was about to happen. THE PENTAGON.

“will not accept or allow” - a defining statement that represents a line has been crossed, and still uncharacteristically formal.

“in any capacity” - 100% shutout. He is saying if you’re transgender, you aren’t eligible. He is personally prohibiting an entire demographic of citizens from being included in the largest FEDERAL program.

“decisive and overwhelming victory” - pandering to the voter base: in wars, we want to win. Trump is directly insinuating that the 15,000 transgender people in the US military are stopping us from winning wars. There are 1.3 million active duty members, and 800,000 reserve. But apparently the 15,000 transgender people will prevent the US from achieving victories.

“burdened” - again, pandering to his voter base. Anyone who hates, kills, or is prejudiced against LGBTQ+ will swarm around this word. According to Trump, transgender people are a burden and must be removed.

“tremendous medical costs” - and again, pandering to his voter base and anyone with an LGBTQ+ prejudice. He’s saying these people cost YOU a lot of money (even though he gives no evidence, and there is plenty of data pointing to the contrary)

“disruption” - and yet again, Trump panders to his voter base. Nobody wants the military to be disrupted. Nobody wants their lives to be disrupted. Nobody wants their safety disrupted. He’s saying transgender people are disrupting our military and our lives.

“Thank you” - Trump ends his tweets on another uncharacteristic, formal note. This is Twitter, not the podium at the head of Capitol Hill. He’s unveiling this statement where his voter base will see it and support it. He knows revealing this decision online will cause more immediate chaos than if he stood in front of cameras and said the same thing. Social media is an unpredictable world where you’re more likely to unleash your anonymous, raw emotion, than, say, while gathered in front of a TV or beside a radio. He wants people to be emotional. For his enemies to feel that anger, and his supporters to feel that triumph.

Make no mistake, Trump deliberately chose these words, and he sure as hell didn’t meet with any qualified officials. And he has a history of ignoring them and advisors anyway. This was Trump talking. Not policies, not military officials, not credible data. Trump. This man is forcing his personal views and biases against an entire demographic, knowing his supporters will swarm to and defend his every word. No respectable leader would ever make this announcement on Twitter, let alone not bring it to the attention of superior officials in the government and Pentagon. This is unstable, irrational, cowardly, dangerous, and an example of blatant bigotry.

instagram

The Libyan War in 2011 was a BIG LIE!!! The Obama administration said it was just trying to protect civilians. Its actions reveal it was looking for regime change. So they murdered Gaddafi and murdered 25,000 civilians. Then proceeded to take 140 million tons of gold and resources. Leaving the survivors in shambles broke and hungry. Let’s revisit a few key quotes from the past… From the Defense Department, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm. Michael Mullen informed
David Gregory of Meet the Press, “The goals of this campaign right now again are limited, and it isn’t about seeing him go.” Meanwhile, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates echoed the administration line: “Regime change is a very complicated business. It sometimes takes a long time. Sometimes it can happen very fast, but it was never part of the military mission.” (Emphasis added.) In truth, the Libyan intervention was about regime change from the very start. The threat posed by the Libyan regime’s military and paramilitary forces to civilian-populated areas was diminished by NATO airstrikes and rebel ground movements within the first 10 days. Obama’s administration CONTINUED to attack Libya led by U.S. backed rebels AKA Al Qaeda!!!! After they were done stealing the gold, Al Queda took over and installed a slave trade. You see, this was their reward for helping the U.S… The Obama Administration and KILL-ary Clinton sold out millions of black people. Don’t even get me started with the 250,000 Sudanese his administration had killed in a private war in Sudan so that they could steal the land and move in private corporations. All the while Obama made millions off of these campaigns. The sickest part of this entire story is that most black people won’t even research it and will continue to support Obama just because they think he’s black which is everything that’s wrong with this world. Black people have been sent down the river with no paddle. This is the reason Obama is banned from visiting most African countries. Banned by black people. #4biddenknowledge
#LibyanSlaveTrade

Made with Instagram

This is what the “Muslim Ban” is helping to distract us from…
“What is unfolding inside Washington right now is, for all intents and purposes, a step-by-step coup e'tat against constitutional government. Steve Bannon has played, and will continue to play, the leading role in this usurpation – his positions effectively shield him from any government oversight or accountability. That Bannon has largely succeeded in shielding from public view his neo-Nazi associations and contempt for the American constitution should be cause for still greater alarm. What much we do know is gravely worrisome in itself.
This post concerns Donald Trump’s elevation of Bannon to leading roles within the National Security Council. To review: the National Security Council (NSC) comprises important high-level government officials including the President, Vice President, Secretary of State, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Director of National Intelligence. Its main job is to use this broad expertise to advise the President on national security matters and assist in carrying out security directives.
Yesterday, the President removed the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Director of National Intelligence from the NSC. He replaced them with Steve Bannon. Bannon has no government, intelligence, or high-level military experience; his experience is leading a propaganda outlet (Breitbart News) that peddles nationalist and white nationalist viewpoints.
This would be deeply concerning in and of itself. But one of the jobs of the NSC is to oversee a secret panel that authorizes the assassination of “enemies of the United States Government” – including American citizens. These targeted killings are fully authorized by law under the Congressional military authorization act following 9/11. There is no trial, no due process, and no public record of the decision or the assassination itself.
Just to recap the absurdity: the President of the United States has appointed a known propagandist, nationalist, and white supremacist to replace the highest military adviser in the country on a council that authorizes secret, legal, targeted killings of American citizens (and others) without due process.
What You Can Do:
- Call your Senators and Congressperson this week and demand that they publicly and legislatively oppose Trump’s appointment of Steven Bannon to the NSC.
- Spread the word about this news to your networks, since this is not getting a lot of coverage right now.”

The other post I promised about Godzilla: King of the Monsters isn’t quite ready yet, so have some headcanons about film (kaiju and otherwise) in the MonsterVerse instead.

  • King Kong (1933), of course, was never made. Instead, Merian C. Cooper decided to finish Willis O’Brien’s Creation. Though no dimension-hopper with access to both films would put it on the same level as Kong, the dinosaur flick impressed the hell out of Eiji Tsuburaya.
  • Godzilla (1954) was never made either, but for different reasons. As in our world, the Indonesian government put the kibosh on In the Shadow of Glory, the war film intended as Toho’s big end-of-the-year release. Tomoyuki Tanaka began developing a science-fiction story to take its place, inspired by a wild rumor he had heard about the U.S. testing nuclear weapons on dinosaurs. Aghast, Monarch pulled every diplomatic string imaginable to get In the Shadow of Glory back on track.
  • Toho’s first kaiju movie was Daimadako (1956), about an octopus mutated by radiation who turns the tables on Japanese fisherman. Tsuburaya realized the monster through a combination of puppetry, stop-motion, and live octopi on miniature sets. Ray Harryhausen famously despised the film, calling it a rip-off of his It Came from Beneath the Sea.
  • Toho would continue to make kaiju and science-fiction films into the seventies, many of which were released theatrically in the U.S. The more well-regarded ones, including Daimadako, were remade as an interconnected anthology series in the eighties and nineties.
  • The Japanese company that cracked the American market in a big way, however, was Tsuburaya Productions. Its avian hero Bemular became bigger than Batman when it arrived here in 1968. After a few seasons, Tsuburaya Productions was able to open a Los Angeles branch and localize the series with American actors. It endured until 2014, when the arrival of Godzilla and the MUTOs on the world stage led to the mid-season cancellation of Bemular Galaxy.
  • Hollywood feared that the mass destruction visited upon the U.S. by the three kaiju would wreak havoc on the summer movie season, and it was proven correct when X-Men: Days of Future Past and Transformers: Age of Extinction both sank like stones.
  • By 2019, the two most popular franchises are Star Wars The Force Awakens somehow made even more money than it did in our reality – and Pacific Rim. The latter is essentially a Transformers successor which has cranked out three movies since 2016. Its detractors like to say it stops just short of crediting the Joint Chiefs of Staff as co-writers and executive producers.

Rumors are circulating to the effect that the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the top military leaders in America, have an emergency plan in effect to prevent Donald Trump from launching nuclear weapons or instigating any attack on U.S. citizens. If this is true then it is the first time this has happened since it was imposed on President Richard Nixon during his final ten days prior to his resignation in advance of impeachment. There was a real fear at that time that Nixon might decide to commit suicide and take the world down with him.

Nervous? Me? Naaah!

Legacy of World War II on the Philippines

In early 1946 Japan’s General Tomoyuki Yamashita was tried as a war criminal and hanged by order of MacArthur. In 1986, a salvage group located the wreck of a Japanese ship containing $500 million worth of treasure in Filipino waters. The ship was sunk in World War II.

In 1994, President Fidel Ramos had hoped to turn the 50th anniversary of the Battle of Leyte into a sort of an Asian version of the D-Day commemoration at Normandy. President Clinton and MacArthur’s 92-year-old widow were invited to event but neither were able to attend. In their place came the U.S. Secretary of State William Perry and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. John Shalikashvili.

After World War II and independence, the United States Congress reneged on promised to give benefits to Filipino soldiers who fought on the Allied side against Japan. In 2009 Associated Press reported: “Men and women from the Philippines were promised recognition and benefits when they enlisted to fight alongside US troops during World War II. Many of those honors are only arriving now, 64 years after the war ended. The Fil-Am veterans are also set to receive long-awaited benefits that the United States pledged during the war. [Source: Associated Press, June 7, 2009]

“Some 250,000 Filipinos enlisted in 1941 to help defend the Philippines, a US commonwealth at the time. They were promised that they could become US citizens if they chose, and receive benefits under the G.I. Bill. The US Congress took away that offer in 1946 when the Philippines became an independent nation. Congress passed legislation in 2009 rewarding the soldiers for their service with $9,000 payments for non-US citizens and $15,000 for those with citizenship. In 2009, about 18,000 Filipino veterans, many in their 80s and 90s, were still alive. Ravaged by old age and disease, they were dying at the rate of 10 a day, officials said. “ [Ibid]

Carlos H. Conde wrote in the New York Times, “Unlike in other countries where the war’s end brought renewal and hope, there is a strong sense in this country that the war victimized Filipinos twice over, that its horrifying toll went beyond the destruction of its cities. If the war destroyed 80 percent of the Philippine economy, its consequences - the reparations, the ensuing relationship between Manila and Tokyo, the Cold War, the rise of Ferdinand Marcos, who exploited Japan’s postwar penitence and benevolence and almost single-handedly repaired relations with the Japanese - damaged Filipinos even further, diminishing their sense of pride and their ability to appreciate their past and learn from it. [Source: Carlos H. Conde, New York Times, August 13, 2005 +=+]

“In short, World War II left the Philippines devastated long after it ended, historians and sociologists say. This damage, they say, defines the modern Filipino: poor and lost, perpetually wandering the globe for economic survival, bereft of national pride, and - like the women of Mapanique - forced to suffer, to this day, the indignities of their violation. “Filipinos have a very short historical memory,” said Ricardo Trota Jose, the country’s foremost scholar on Philippine-Japan relations, who teaches history at the University of the Philippines.“ +=+

“I took her in my arms. The anaconda’s habitat was probably not the most romantic place on Earth, but it felt safe. ‘You know I love you.’

'I love you, too, Jake,’ she said, and put her head on my shoulder.

'I guess if we win, if we survive, maybe we should, you know, get married and all. I mean, eventually. I know we’re young, but man, we’ve been through enough that it should count for a few extra years, shouldn’t it?’

I don’t know what I expected her answer to be, but I didn’t expect her to start crying. And not tears of joy, either.

'I would like that…eventually,’ she said.

'But. But what?’

She sighed. 'But, Jake, what are you going to be? What are you going to do?’

'Guess I thought I’d go to college,’ I said.

'And study what, Jake? Me, I’ll go to college, I’ll become a doctor. I’ll never forget what’s happened, I’ll never even try, but I’ll be able to slip back into a normal life. But you, Jake?’

I shrugged and released her and stood away a bit. 'I’m not Rachel, you know. I didn’t fall in love with the fight. I don’t need it like she does. I do it, I try and do it well, but it’s just a job, a duty.’ I tried to make a joke out of it. 'I mean, what do you think? The Pentagon is going to call me and make me Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff? I’m not even old enough to enlist as a private.’

She didn’t laugh. She just looked at me.

'Look, Cassie, when this is over I’ll be done with it forever. I’ll go back to school, get an education, go to basketball games, get a driver’s license, go to college, figure out what it is I really want to do. And be with you. You and me.’

She forced a smile. 'A year after it ends, if it ends, if we win, a year afterward if you want to be with me, we’ll talk about that again, okay?’

'I have to wait a year? Kind of harsh, isn’t it?’

'Hey, if we get married, Marco isn’t going to live with us, is he?’ Cassie said, trying her best to jolly us both out of our dark moods.

It didn’t work.”

- Book #53: The Answer, pg. 75 (by K.A. Applegate)

Trump and Bannon’s “America First”

Donald Trump has reorganized the National Security Council – elevating his chief political strategist Steve Bannon, and demoting the Director of National Intelligence and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Bannon will join the NSC’s principals committee, the top inter-agency group advising the President on national security. 

Meanwhile, the Director of National Intelligence and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff will now attend meetings only when “issues pertaining to their responsibilities and expertise are to be discussed,” according to the presidential memorandum issued Saturday. 

Political strategists have never before participated in National Security Council principals meetings because the NSC is supposed to give presidents nonpartisan, factual advice.

But forget facts. Forget analysis. This is the Trump administration. 

And what does Bannon have to bring to the table? 

In case you forgot, before joining Donald Trump’s inner circle Bannon headed Breitbart News, a far-right media outlet that has promoted conspiracy theories and is a platform for the alt-right movement, which espouses white nationalism.

This is truly scary. 

Former National Security Adviser Susan Rice calls the move “stone cold crazy.” Former Defense Secretary Robert Gates, who also served under George W. Bush, says the demotions are a “big mistake.” 

Republican Sen. John McCain, chairman of the Armed Services Committee, told CBS News, "I am worried about the National Security Council. … The appointment of Mr. Bannon is a radical departure from any National Security Council in history.” McCain added that the “one person who is indispensable would be the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, in my view.”

Here’s the big worry. Trump is unhinged and ignorant. Bannon is nuts and malicious. If not supervised by the Joint Chiefs of Staff, their decisions could endanger the world.

In Trump’s and Bannon’s view, foreign relations is a zero-sum game. If another nation gains, we lose. As Trump declared at his inaugural: “From this day forward, it’s going to be only America First.”

Some of you are old enough to recall John F. Kennedy’s inaugural, when the young president pledged to support any friend and oppose any foe to assure the success of liberty. 

But Trump makes no distinction between friend and foe, and no reference to liberty. As conservative commentator Charles Krauthammer observes, Trump’s view is that all other nations are out to use, exploit and surpass us.

Not incidentally, “America First” was the name of the pro-Nazi group led by Charles Lindbergh that bitterly fought FDR before U.S. entry into World War II to keep America neutral between Churchill’s Britain and Hitler’s Reich.

Trump’s and Bannon’s version of “America First” is no less dangerous. It is alienating America from the rest of the world, destroying our nation’s moral authority abroad, and risking everything we love about our country.

Unsupervised by people who know what they’re doing. Trump and Bannon could also bring the world closer to a nuclear holocaust.